Guest Reviewers Top Picks for 2010


Many of the books on the site are reviewed by the Guest Reviewers, so Wave asked us to come up with our lists of top books for 2010. As you know, Reviews by Jessewave is growing by leaps and bounds, and the number of reviewers is growing right along with it. Some of us are brand-spankin’ new baby reviewers (on this site, at least!) and some have been extra-super-duper busy this past year, so you’ll notice a few only have a couple of items in their lists.

In alphabetical order here are the books rated by Alexi, Buda, Cole, Erastes, Feliz, Jenre, John, Kassa, Leslie, Lily, Lynn, TJ, Val and Victor J. Banis:

Alexi’s Top 3 Books for 2010

  1. Bee Among the Clover by Margueritte Labbe and Fae Sutherland
  2. Dark Designs by Luisa Prieto
  3. If I Must by Amy Lane

Buda’s Top 6 Books for 2010

  1. The Trap by Indigo Wren
  2. In the Flesh by Ethan Stone
  3. The Loss of Innocence Store by George Seaton*
  4. Forsake Not by Maura Anderson*
  5. Public Lives, Private Pleasures by Adrianna Dane
  6. A Bid for Love by TD McKinney & Terry Wylis

*Both part of Honorable Silence anthology from MLR Press

Cole’s Top 3 Books for 2010

  1. The Match Before Christmas by Eden Winters
  2. An Earlier Heaven by DW Marchwell
  3. Illustrated Men, an MLR Press Anthology (Stories inspired by Michael Breyette)

Erastes’ Top 10 Books for 2010

  1. Prove a Villain by K C Warwick — Elizabethan London
  2. Counterpoint by Ruth Sims — 19th century Europe
  3. Bob the Book by David Pratt — contemporary (yes — really!!) LOL.
  4. It Takes Two by Elliot Mackle — 1940s America
  5. The Wages of Sin by Alex Beecroft — 18th century england
  6. The Gentleman and The Rogue by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon — Regency
  7. Fall of a State by Kate Cotoner — Chinese
  8. Lover’s Knot by Donald Hardy — Victorian/Edwardian England
  9. The Lonely War by Alan Chin — WW2
  10. The Dark Farewell by Josh Lanyon — 1920s America

Feliz’s Top 2 Books for 2010

  1. Transit by Raev Gray and Aleksandr Voinov
  2. Pioneers by Lynn Lorenz

Jenre’s Top 10 Books for 2010 (In no particular order)

  1. Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane
  2. I Fell in Love with a Zombie by Sean Kennedy
  3. Sonoran Heat by Katrina Strauss
  4. The Puppy Love Series by Jeff Erno
  5. Mobry’s Dick by K.Z. Snow
  6. Blinded by Our Eyes by Clare London
  7. A Red Tainted Silence by Carolyn Gray
  8. Bound and Determined by Jane Davit and Alexa Snow
  9. Amor En Retrogrado by A.M. Riley
  10. All or Nothing by James Buchanan

John’s Top 5 Books of 2010

First off, Big THANKS to Wave for letting me review. And for putting up with me when I disappear for weeks at a time. :)

  1. Angel of Thirteenth Street by Eden Winter
  2. State of Mind by Libby Drew
  3. The Telling by Eden Winter
  4. Anagama Fires by Sarah Black
  5. Duncan’s World by T.A. Chase

Kassa’s Top 7 Books for 2010

  1. Lord of the White Hell (Books One and Two) by Ginn Hale
  2. Urban Shaman by Lyn Gala
  3. Promises by Marie Sexton
  4. Cat in the Cradle by Jay Bell
  5. Helpless by MJ Pearson
  6. Hero by Heidi Cullinan
  7. Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane

Leslie’s Top 5 Books for 2010

  1. Lover’s Knot by Donald Hardy
  2. Take My Picture by Giselle Ellis
  3. Probation by Tom Mendecino
  4. Little Boy Lost Book One: Enlightened by J.P. Barnaby
  5. To Hell You Ride by Julia Talbot

Lily’s Top 5 Books for 2010

  1. Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
  2. Double Blind by Heidi Cullinan
  3. Back to Normal by Wren Boudreau
  4. Making His List by Devon Rhodes
  5. My Life In Your Hands by AR Moler

Aunt Lynn’s Top 10 Books for 2010 (in alphabetic order)

  1. All She Wrote by Josh Lanyon
  2. At Piper’s Point by Ethan Day
  3. Book 11 of the Donald Strachey Mystery series Cockeyed by Richard Stevenson
  4. Book Two of the Bill Turner Case Book series Death by Misfortune by AM Riley
  5. Electric Melty Tingles by KZ Snow
  6. The final book in the Royal Navy series: Home is the Sailor by Lee Rowan
  7. The remaining two books in the Lessons series: Lessons in Trust and Lessons in Seduction by Charlie Cochrane
  8. Lily White, Rose Red (Grey Randall, Private Dick Casefile #1) by Catt Ford
  9. The Prayer Waltz by KZ Snow
  10. Summer Song by Louise Blaydon

Stacey’s Top 2 Books for 2010

  1. The Emperor’s Wolf by JC Owens
  2. Dark Waters by Chris Quinton

TJ’s Top 5 Books for 2010

  1. 72 Hours by Clare London
  2. Icecapade by Josh Lanyon
  3. Love Most Inconvenient by DJ Manly
  4. Out of Bounds by Viki Lyn
  5. Shadowlands by Charlie David

Val Kovalin’s Top 5 Books for 2010

The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek
  1. The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek
  2. Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara
  3. The Manituw by Lisbeth Jenkins
  4. Aloes by Chris Quinton
  5. Workin’ on the Railroad by Deirdre O’Dare

Victor J. Banis
Hmm, I loved all the stories I reviewed here last year, of course, because I don’t write reviews except of books that I enjoy. And it would be impossible for me to pick one or two winners from among them, since they are all of them, in their individual ways, winners. So, I’ll offer instead some reasons why I think each of these has special merit.

Match Maker and The Lonely War by Alan Chin — Alan is one of my favorite writers. He always manages to tell an engaging story about real people, and writes with the kind of wisdom that offers the reader enlightenment along with his entertainment. You come away from an Alan Chin tale with just a shade more understanding of the human condition than when you went in.

Counterpoint and Song on the Sand by Ruth Sims — another of my favorite writers, Ruth often skirts the edges of sentimentality without ever falling into the pit. Again, her characters are flesh and blood, which allows the reader to really care what happens to them, and her plots are such that there is always plenty happening.

Memoirs of Colonel Gerard Vreilhac by Anel Viz — a writer new to me, and one with whose writing I immediately fell in love. It is hard to write convincing historical fiction, with enough detail to evoke an earlier era, and not at the same time fall into pedantry, but this writer does it admirably. His novel is both intensely erotic, and admirably literary, not an easy feat to achieve either.

Normal Miguel by Erik Orrantia — another writer new to me this year, and I had read no more than a page or two before I was hopelessly charmed. Like the others on my list, Orrantia has the gift of creating believable characters, in this case a huge slate of them; but where this book really shines is in bringing to life an entire village in the Mexican mountains, people who are poor in everything but spirit.

Then there is the review you didn’t read—Holy Communion by Mykola Dementiuk. I wrote it, but you never saw it, because before I got it posted, a virus ate my computer, and I hadn’t backed the file up and I just never got it rewritten. Never mind. I can tell you that Mykola writes a different kind of story from the writers listed above. His stories are street tough, hard hitting, and always verging on genius. This is about a seven year old boy and the week of his confirmation, and is perhaps the most lyrical thing of Dementiuk’s that I have read, but don’t let that fool you into expecting Peter Pan. The book, btw, won a Lambda award last year.

Of course, there are a lot of wonderful books that I missed, writers I have yet to discover, and some old friends that I somehow neglected over the past year, but you needn’t copy my failing. You can’t go wrong with a book by Pat Brown or Josh Lanyon or Neil Plakcy and I can only feel guilty that they aren’t in the list above. In fact, it seems to me as if the genre of gay fiction (or m/m if you prefer) has never been in better shape. Not even in the so-called golden age of gay fiction — the 60s and early 70s — were there so many fine writers producing such an array of good reading. Cause for all of us to celebrate, I’d say.

57 thoughts on “Guest Reviewers Top Picks for 2010

  1. Tam

    Wow, so many great books and I see the same author’s name crop up on several lists which I think really says something about their ability. I have read some of those, 22 actually which is pretty good, certainly not all but I’ll keep my eye open for some more of them for sure. Some are waiting for me in my TBR. :-)

    May 2011 bring many more excellent books.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Well said, Tam. We had many great offerings this year and like you, I hope next year will bring lots of wonderful, enjoyable reading hours to us.

  2. Buda

    Wow. So many absolutely awesome books on these lists. So many I still haven’t read. And even some I’d forgotten I wanted to read! Beautifully done, Lynn! :)

            1. Wave

              I thought you were too young to need help with that. But then maybe your life of debauchery so far has depleted your reserve tank. lol. Damn I’m good!
              BTw in the Colonies we call it a “raise.”

          1. Buda

            Oh, Wave. Here in an independent nation, we call it rise, as in, “Damn! He gave me a rise in my Levi’s!” ;)

            I don’t need help with it, but I probably wouldn’t turn down a strong masculine hand or … ya know, whatever else. :) I’m not nearly as debauched as you would like to believe, because I’m not sure any one man could be that debauched–not even that Day boy! ;)

    1. S.

      Latches on for a random hug. Buda, you introduced me to one of my absolute favorite books of the year – Indigo Wren’s The Trap. I’m actually working on to finish the rest of your list.

      I hope to see more of your reviews very soon.

      -A Grateful reader :)

      PS: I’m also working my way through Kassa’s list. I finished reading Lord of the White Hell 1(it’s finally out in ebook!), and I can’t wait for Book Two.

      1. Buda

        Oh, S, thank you so much. You have no idea how much that means to me. :) I’ll keep reviewing if you keep reading. *hugs back*

  3. Ingrid

    Great to see those lists. Some I read and most I haven’t which is a tad … weird.
    Anyway a few of my favourite books for 2010 are:

    Jet Mykkles – Two man team
    Sloan Parker – More
    Anah Crow & Diana Fox – Slow Bloom
    Jullie Bozza – The definitive Albert Sterne
    Andrea Speed – Infected Prey & Bloodlines

  4. Patty

    I’m adding books to my TBR list. :) Thanks, all of you, for providing great ideas.

    I’m reading Carol of the Bellskis, one of Val’s top picks, right now and I’m loving it! :)

  5. Wave

    Thank you for putting this post together. It says a lot for the site and the reviewers that we were able to review so many books and come up with a very discriminating list of top recommendations this year.

    Great job all around.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Thanks for the opportunity to gather and format. :) It;s a great list — so many wonderful reads.

  6. John

    Wave? You reveiwed books as well, didn’t you? Where are your top reviews?

    Lynn, thanks for your hard work here on the blog. Don’t you think it’s time for Wave to own up to the reviewers bank account funds and schedule our get-together-thank-you-maledancerstripper-party? Oh, and I almost forgot, bake-off contest……….lol

    1. Wave

      My list is coming up tomorrow. I’m still writing it. lol

      First off, Big THANKS to Wave for letting me review. And for putting up with me when I disappear for weeks at a time.

      I don’t ask any questions – I just assume that you have a new BF whenever you’re not around, or maybe you’re doing something you don’t want me to ask about.

      Re the topping up of the bank acounts, you were the one who depleted the travel budget with all of your senior citizen trips around Texas. Now there’s nothng left.

      As for the bake off contest – that’s between Lynn and Cole since I’m not a baker or cook, but I love to eat. :)

      1. John

        Hmmmmmmmmmm………….the taskmaster whips the helpless little reviewers to provide our top books for the list to end all lists in 2010 and our high and mighty leader exempts herself?

        Alright you hottub hunks, pull the plug and exit the joint!

        All those little ole lady van trips were paid for by those poor little ole ladies themselves, thank you very much.


        1. Wave

          John my darling

          the taskmaster whips the helpless little reviewers to provide our top books for the list to end all lists in 2010 and our high and mighty leader exempts herself?

          I didn’t exempt myself – I’m still writing it and it will be posted tomorrow, I promise. :)

          Leave the hottub hunks alone – I need the inspiration.

    2. Aunt Lynn Post author

      John, you give Wave all the hard time you can about the travel budget. She claims you blew it on the seniors trips, but really I think she she spent it on the electric bill for the hot tub she keeps the beautiful menz in. ;)

      And you’re welcome.

    3. Wave

      Holly Hell Batman
      You did get it done. You look so handsome John I could lick you myself except you would probably puke. ;-)

      Is that really you or some hot man whose picture you appropriated? Don’t try to pick up guys on the site with that photo – it’s not allowed. :)

      1. John

        Yes, I did get it done. I will definitely appreciate you NOT licking me. I won’t puke, but I’ll be uncomfortable. How about a chaste kiss on my bearded cheek and a hug?

  7. Dianne T.

    Wow, so many great books, so little time!! I certainly recognize many of these as titles I have read and loved, many more that are on my TBR list, and now I see there are a great many to add to that list. Oh well I’ll suffer through it, never too much of a good thing ;-) Thanks again to all the reviewers for their input all year – and of course to the authors for all the write stuff. My favorites list would have to be a continuum……..LOL.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Our pleasure, Dianne. Feel free to list your favorites.

      Oh well I’ll suffer through it, never too much of a good thing

      You said it!

  8. LadyM

    What a wonderful compilation of best 2010 books! While I have read a good share of them, there are others that I missed and so I have something to look for in the next year. Plus, I’m certain our favorite writers will add more and you will review them. ^^

    Great list, Aunt Lynn! Thank you and other reviewers who made this site such a great place. ♥

    I think you had some copy/paste malfunction in your list. Cause Death by Misfortune is written by A.M. Riley. ^^

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      I think you had some copy/paste malfunction in your list. Cause Death by Misfortune is written by A.M. Riley. ^^

      What did I say? *looksupthelist* Oh, crap, thanks for telling me. I fixed it.

      It is really our pleasure to do this for the readers. If the authors come and play, well, even better!

  9. Jenre

    Yes, thanks for putting this list together, Lynn. So many great books, some of which I have on my TBR pile and some which obviously need to be added!

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      You’re welcome, Jen. That’s the (good) problem of year-end lists like this — it adds to the TBR pile for sure!

  10. Cole

    Hi Lynn,

    Thanks for putting this list together! There are quite a few selections on here that I haven’t read and have completely forgotten about. Plus, I have to say, it is nice to get a list of books that I more or less know I am going to love. It takes a lot of the research out of buying a book (its usually quite a bit for me).

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Yup, the top lists are usually a sign that we will like the books even if you’re like me and know that some of them are outside of the genres we usually read. For me, it’s paranormals, so if I was itching to read a ghost story or creature feature, then I know where to start. :)

  11. Leslie

    Great lists, everyone! I just wanted to add a postscript: The Little Boy Lost series by J.P. Barnaby has been contracted by Dreamspinner Press (when I read the book, it was self-published by the author). They will be republishing Enlightened and the next book in the series, Abandoned, sometime in early 2011. The additional books in the series (6 total are planned) will be published as they are written. Something to look forward to!


    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Thanks for the info, Leslie, and for being part of the team. I’ll add this close to your list.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      I always forget someone

      Me too! Thanks for addendum, wring wonderful books and contributing to the site. :)

  12. Kassa

    Thanks for all the hard work getting the list together. I’m excited to see some of those books listed. I definitely have some shuffling in my TBR pile to do.

  13. Tj

    Thank you Lynn for the timely reminder of all the wonderful books from 2010. I’ve read some and they were indeed 5 star reads, but I see I have a lot more to get to.

    I also want to wish you and all my fellow reviewers a very happy New Year! I can’t tell you how many truly laugh out loud moments I have had over the past year with all of you and the wonderful bloggers and authors who grace us with their presence.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      I was happy to do it, TJ, and a very happy and healthy new year to you as well.

      I can’t tell you how many truly laugh out loud moments I have had over the past year with all of you and the wonderful bloggers and authors who grace us with their presence.

      we are a fun bunch, aren’t we? :)

  14. Eden Winters

    I’m deeply honored to see that my work made reviewer’s top stories lists for the year, and terrified as well, hoping my next story can hold up.

    I’ve read quite a few of the titles mentioned, most because of reviews I’ve seen here, and haven’t been disappointed. More books are being added to my TBR. Thankfully, I’ve done some reading over the holidays, and managed to make room for more. Aunt Lynn, where do you get the energy? First the giveaway, now the lists. You must be exhausted. Great job, ya’ll. I look forward to seeing what the new year has in store for us all.

    1. Aunt Lynn Post author

      Hi Eden. I would anticipate you gracing the list as well, next year.

      Aunt Lynn, where do you get the energy? First the giveaway, now the lists. You must be exhausted.

      See, there are these little pills… No, seriously, I admit to being a little tired after this last week, but I eat my Wheaties (actually, a mix of Fiber One, Life and Shredded Wheat) and try to sleep eight hours every night. :)

  15. amy lane

    Wow–I’m seriously flummox-gasted to be in such good company–what an awesome list, you guys! (It must be awesome–I coined another word for it!)

  16. Clare London

    I’m also – like Amy says – flummox-gasted to be included in anyone’s list, it’s a big thrill. And *such* a great selection of books! I’m impressed that not many were repeated, it goes to show what different tastes we all have. This kind of post really helps remind me of books I loved, books I’d forgotten I wanted to read, books I must get.

    A big shout-out to all the reviewers who’ve helped us choose and share books, and have enhanced the whole joyous reading experience.

    And well said Victor – there’s so much good fiction out there nowadays :).

  17. K. Z. Snow

    Thank you so much, Lynn (and Jen, too)!

    Erastes and Victor: I fully agree with your rec’s for The Wages of Sin and Normal Miguel, respectively. Two entirely different books but both fabulous!

  18. George Seaton

    Thanks, Buda, for your recognition of “The Loss of Innocence Store,” from the MLR anthology, “Honorable Silence.” Kinda like that little story myself…

  19. Maura Anderson

    Buda – thank you for including Forsake Not from the MLR anthology “Honorable Silence” on your list for 2010! Those two characters really demanded to be written and I like how the story turned out.

    I’m thrilled and hope you continue to enjoy my stories.

  20. Indigo Wren

    Buda —

    Please forgive me for this VERY overdue THANK YOU for your review and support of my book, THE TRAP. It’s my first book, and I kind of walked to the precipice, opened my hands, and let it go, taking only the VERY occasional through-my-fingers peeks to see how it was flying. Which is why it has taken me literally until May of 2011 to discover you put my book on your list of top books for 2010! I can’t tell you how much that means to me, or how much I appreciate your review and comments. Thank you so, so much. You totally made my week … I’m just so embarrassed that it took me damn near six months to realize it! :-)


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